Interview with Kelis
Having sold over 6 million records worldwide, and won numerous awards, Kelis has had a steller of a decade since she hit the music scene back in 1999. Now currently touring across the world, Kelis reflects on her music in the past and looks to what we can expect from her in the future. Expect albums, fashion...and milkshakes....
CM: Hey Kelis, how you doing?
K: Yeh I'm good thanks, just on route to the airport. (coughs) I've been going on tour forever so I'm just fighting things off (laughs).
CM: Sounds like you've got a lot on your plate recently?
K: Yes it defiantly seems like that.
CM: You have just finished All hearts Tour across Europe. How was that for you?
K: It was fantastic, it's was really good actually. Honestly, I think when people love you or when they support you, it shows real support around the world. Me and Robyn did the American leg of the tour together and it was fantastic; she's great, she's a whole lot of fun, she's great on stage and it was great to be with another female.
CM: Could we expect a future collaboration?
K: I don't know, anything's possible. I don't know, it is what it is, when things happen, they happen, you know.
CM: You're going to be playing on Perez Hilton's 'One Night in.' on Friday night in Atlantic City to celebrate a weekend of LGBT events. How important is the LGBT community to your fanbase?
K: Honestly, like I said, whoever is supportive is important because they are the people that keep you going and avoid you from getting a desk job, so it's great.
CM: You're also playing at the free Russian Standard Vodka Originals Winter festival in November. Are you excited to be part of this?
K: Yeh, it should be great. I actually think that because everyone is out there for the same purpose, it becomes really relaxing and so it should be a good couple of days.
CM: So your fifth studio album Fleshtone was quite a departure from your old RnB sound into a more pop/dance transition. Why the change?
K: For me there was never really any change. I never really called myself anything to begin with and I have always been a wide musical artist. I do all kind of ranges and stuff, so it was never really a big change for me.
CM: It also came with a complete new look for you. Is it important for you to be a fashion icon for your younger fans?
K: I don't know, I've never really thought about it like that. I mean, I just do what I do. Whether they are young or old or whatever, you just hope the people get you and get where you are coming from. Fashion is not just important to the type of artist I am but in general.
CM: Last week it was announced you have signed a deal with London's fashion company Next Models. How did that come about?
K: I guess how everything else comes about; business, looking for people to represent you properly, trying to create relationships, and trying to hire the right people. I think Next is a great agency and I like my agent so it's been good. I look absolutely forward to it. But in terms of what I'm going to be doing, I don't know yet.
CM: Congratulations on the relatively recent birth of your son. Has motherhood changed the way you make music?
K: No, I don't think so really. I think it advances yourself and it makes your life better and more meaningful, but I don't think it changes your music. It's not like I put my personal life in my music, I think that naturally the mood that you are in comes across and you write about that and sort of share that. But I don't write that much about personal stuff, it's more about where you're at.
CM: What are the artists that influence you musically?
K: I don't know. I'm a sponge and anything around me, good, bad or indifferent, has an effect on us. I mean I love the Robyn album and there are a few producers that I like such as Swedish House Mafia, and things like that.
CM: Your recent Single Skream was produced by David Guetta. How is he to work with?
K: I don't really know as I didn't really work with him. I've known him for years, he's great, he's a great guy in general, but in terms of production, I recorded it pretty much by myself. He came over to the house and we both hung out but we didn't really work together on it.
CM: The video had a 3-d version which is quite groundbreaking. Is it important for you to embrace new technological advancements?
K: No, I don't really think in those terms; I like what I like. It's just fun because you really get to play with things that are sort of graphic. Rankin is amazing; we shot a new video yesterday which is why I'm so drop dead today. But he's great, Rankin is really forward thinking and very creative. I think we have a really nice synergy together because we both bring something different to the table. He's really easy to work with and he's brilliant. Saying the things I wanted to do, he said 'Absolutely we could totally do that' and he came up with a whole load of concepts, he's great.
CM: The video you shot yesterday, what was that for?
K: I shall not tell you; you will know when you know (laughs). It's not new material. I can just say it's me and Rankin doing what me and Rankin do, it's exciting.
CM: Tell me about a moment you can remember when you took a big step up musically
K: I don't know, I really don't think like that - I just do what I do, and it's people like yourself who write about stuff to decide, I just do what I do. I think just the whole thing really, as I've been doing it a long time; every day's a blessing and every day's a risk, all twists and turns are interesting.
CM: Tell me about this cookbook you're supposed to be involved with
K: It's funny I don't know where that started. I cook a lot and I have a book that I made together for myself with favourite recipes. But I don't know where this 'cookbook' [with Robert Teamer] thing came from. Not to be disrespectful, but I don't even know who Robert Teamer is. Not that he is someone I shouldn't know but I just don't (laughs)
CM: Not to be a clich' but do you have many recipes for milkshakes?
K: (laughs) No. In terms of the song, people always ask for it and so it's a challenge to present it in a new light. I like to switch it up and do different things with it.
CM: Is it true you have a line of fashion accessories called cake?
K: No I'm not doing anything right now, I'm looking with a few designers to be making stuff for myself , the tour and stuff like that, but no fashion accessories.
CM: How is the music making going at the moment. Can we expect a 6th album in the works?
K: Yeh, I definitely will be starting on some stuff. I'm always writing so I've not stopped; I've been writing and recording and at one point I will feel like I have a record and will put it out (laughs). We'll see what it turns out to be.
CM: What have you got planned for the near future?
K: I'm going on tour in Australia in February and after that, it's where the day takes me to be honest. I'm looking forward to the 29th [free Vodka Festival], that should be great. Until then, I will be touring, but not in Europe. The next time I should be touring heavily in Europe will probably be the Spring and Summer in the festivals which I'm really looking forward to because I love the festivals.
CM: Thanks a lot Kelis, hope you get some time to rest.
K: (laughs) My voice sounds like I need it, right. Thanks so much.
Kelis will be headlining the Russian Standard Vodka Originals winter festival on 29th November at the HMV Forum London. To find out how to get free tickets to the show visit the Russian Standard Vodka website.
Russian Standard Vodka -